Public Trustee | COVID-19 Update

06 April 2020

The Public Service Association (PSA) is in regular communication with the government as your employer and as decision maker around COVID-19 actions. The PSA is ensuring members’ issues are being dealt with and Public Trustee is complying with directions of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and government advice about COVID-19.

There have been many queries coming from workplaces over the past week or so. There are multiple sources of information (many listed below) to follow and you are encouraged to keep yourself informed. If your questions or concerns are not answered there, raise them through your PSA Worksite Representative, Health and Safety Representative, PSA Organiser Keiran Macfarlane or through the PSA Members’ Rights Hotline on 8205 3227.

Some questions that have arisen in the last week:

  • The consolidation of staff on different floors has made compliance with social distancing more difficult
    This has been alleviated for many members by significant numbers of staff working from home. If you are still finding it difficult to maintain a safe distance, speak to your PSA WorkSite Rep (WSR) or PSA Organiser.

  • I must complete a WHS checklist to work from home
    These checklists were put together by the AGD Wellbeing Unit. AGD is taking reasonably practicable actions to reduce risks to members’ health and safety by having members work from home where possible. Your employer still must ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that you work safely at home. The checklist is to help with that but you are not expected to know every risk. The checklist does not absolve Public Trustee from responsibility if you injure yourself working from home. Please try to complete the checklist as best you can and avoid hazards as best you can wherever you work, home, office or anywhere

  • I am on contract – am I secure?
    If you are a member you should be seeking advice from your WSR or PSA Organiser Keiran Macfarlane about the terms of your contract and your rights.

  • With the closure of public schools from this week, how will I care for my children?
    If you are able to work from home you should already be doing that or preparations should at least be being made. You do not need leave if you are working from home. PSA is still pursuing access to paid special leave for those with caring responsibilities. If your child is sick you may use accrued Carer’s Leave.

  •  I am in contact with the public – what should I do
    Observe social distancing advice and wash your hands regularly.

  • I am in a vulnerable group – what should I do
    You are encouraged to discuss your vulnerabilities with your employer to see what alternatives there are for you to continue to work. Some specific groups have had strong recommendations from the government to stay at home. Contact the PSA for advice if you are unsure where you stand.



It is a very difficult time for everyone and now, more than ever, working together and looking after your workmates is the best place to start. Be kind to each other and check on how people are travelling while taking the time to look after your own wellbeing.

COVID-19 resources:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/coronavirus/
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
https://www.actu.org.au/coronavirus